shutterstock_272183825Guess there weren’t enough angry white men in Iowa to give The Donald a victory in the caucuses. That means The Donald is a loser, a word he abhors. However, the demographic supporting him is also made up of losers, angry white men who life has passed by and are dying off earlier than would be expected.

Several months ago, an analysis by two social scientists from Princeton showed that middle-aged uneducated white men had an increased mortality rate. Those with a high school education or less schooling were dying off faster than any other demographic group. Given the advances in medical diagnostic and therapeutic developments, and prophylaxis for chronic illnesses, mortality rates across the board had been going down aside from this one sector.

One of the interesting facts about this group is that they are basically killing themselves, either quickly or slowly. The leading causes of death in this stratum are suicide, alcoholism and drug usage, and there’s a higher incidence of chronic pain and various illnesses. This is not a happy bunch. They are often unmarried, divorced and single, do not have many relationships, and do not socialize well. There is also a much higher level of unemployment or underemployment in these men.

Under a lot of stress, they do not have much to look forward to as they grow older. And they are angry. Life has not turned out the way they had envisioned it when they were younger. Of course, much of their situation is their own doing as they abandoned education for a variety of reasons, not having the foresight to realize it was a necessity in the new economy. And perhaps they started using drugs or alcohol when they were much younger, making education or decent jobs hard to come by or stick with.

But most of them do not want to blame themselves for the way their lives have unraveled. It is much easier to fault the immigrants who have “flooded the country,” taking the good jobs for themselves. The fact that immigrant jobs are commonly picking fruits and vegetables, working in slaughterhouses, doing landscaping and washing cars, cleaning rooms and toilets in hotels, and working in fast food restaurants, is disregarded by these white men who would never have considered work of that sort in the first place.

And they loathe the government. After all, the government has been supporting all these welfare queens who sit back on their asses and receive money without working. They have six or seven children by different fathers and get more money. However, that story ended during the Clinton administration twenty years ago and was not really true in the first place, though perhaps still believed by these angry white middle-agers.

There’s also China to blame. China has taken all those good manufacturing jobs away from America and Trump says he’s going to bring those jobs back. Good luck to him! There are plenty of jobs anyway going begging in the high-tech industries, but you need education and training for those which uneducated middle-aged white guys don’t have.

Well, now these angry uneducated white men have a savior- The Donald. He is angry too and he is going to do something to make America great again. Just exactly what that is, is not clear, but he is going to do it. And these uneducated angry white men believe him because they want someone who will give them hope. Immigrants are going to be deported and a wall built at the border. Well, more immigrants are already leaving America than coming in. And this is before The Donald gets to do anything. Are these middle-aged white men going to take the jobs that will open up? Not likely when they’re drinking, or doing meth or heroin.

What is Trump really going to do for these poor bastards whom life has passed by if he gets elected president? Not much, you can bet. In fact, he would call them losers if he didn’t want their votes in the election. But they love him anyway because he’s angry and shouts and says things that are politically incorrect, and doesn’t give a f— what anyone else thinks.

And how much of their adoration of The Donald is fantasy for these poor, middle-aged, uneducated white men? Here’s a guy who they think has it all. He’s rich, has a private jet, gets to screw plenty of beautiful women who fawn all over him, can say whatever he wants to anyone, and gets to run for president and maybe win.

Wouldn’t it be nice if just once they could tell off the boss and walk off the job with a beautiful woman on their arm? Wouldn’t it be nice if they could be like The Donald, the loser in Iowa?

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Photo by Shutterstock

ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Columnist
Leave a replyComments (41)
  1. Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist February 2, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Pretty good description of the typical Trump voters: ‘losers, uneducated, angry white men.”

    But how about the “losers, uneducated, angry white women” one sees at the BIG LOSER’s rallies: those who fantasize being fawned all over by the guy “they think has it all…rich, has a private jet, gets to ….”

  2. Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist February 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Here’s one more report on some of those uneducated, angry white men, the “Trolls and Nazis [who] Mourn Trump Loss”:

    Nowhere was Donald Trump’s defeat felt more keenly than in the murky depths of the internet where racists and conspiracy theorists wailed and gnashed their teeth.

  3. rudi February 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Kinda rough on these voters. These people are the Nixon Silent Majority and Reagan Democrats. The party elites blow the dog whistle, yet when these voters come running they don’t get a treat and are ignored…

  4. Slamfu February 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Good grief what an angry article. There is a certain amount of truth, a large amount really given some of the things that have been going on and around at Trump rallies, but at the end of the day these are our fellow Americans. The GOP field this year is definitely pandering the angry white vote, and while there weren’t enough to get Trump to the top of the podium in Iowa, Cruz ain’t much better, and could be worse in a lot of ways.

    I still feel that given what the top GOP candidates are running on, they have little to no hope in the general election. Given that, we should take a chance to make our point about what we should be fighting for as a country without throwing everyone in the other camp into the “evil, racist, stupid” category. Most of those people are motivated by what they see and hear every day, what is directly affecting them, or more importantly what they perceive as directly affecting them. Not everyone has the time, inclination, or aptitude to be big picture thinkers about politics, and yet they must live in the same system as the rest of us. While I don’t expect courtesy to result in a big kumbaya jam session with everyone in America holding hands, we can take a higher road than basically calling them all stupid racist morons.

    We can push REALLY hard for progressive and liberal agendas without being dicks about it I guess is what I’m saying.

    • Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist February 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Have to agree with you, Slamfu. Maybe a little bit over the top, including my own comments.

      We should not be calling everyone “in the other camp” stupid, unethical, hypocritical, unprincipled, etc., etc.

      But then again, I have not seen much push-back here (except perhaps for JS) to the one or two here who explicitly or implicitly ascribe such character flaws to those who happen to support, say, Hillary Clinton.

      Just thinking aloud.

      • dduck February 2, 2016 at 12:53 pm

        Wow. I’m hopeful.

        • KP February 2, 2016 at 5:20 pm

          Careful with the hope. Lucy is going to pull the football away!

    • Lorie Emerson February 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Yep. I thought it was pretty mean spirited. There are going to be a**es in any group. I honestly think part of Trumps base just doesn’t take politics seriously at all and are solely involved for entertainment value.

  5. JSpencer February 2, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I’m sure there is more than a grain of truth in the article, but the take-away for me is contained in one word, “uneducated”. Any man or woman, regardless of color who is uneducated and feels abandon by the system will be potential fodder for demagogues and rabble rousers. In the past there were manufacturing jobs, skilled trades jobs, even decent laboring jobs for those who were limited in their education. Those opportunities are much harder to come by now. Older unskilled workers who find themselves on the ropes and unwanted, but are in no position to “retire” will be feeling plenty of pain, and pain can translate into a lot of negative expression.

    I don’t know what the actual stats are to support the article, but I can think of many examples that don’t fit the pattern. For example, I’m white, single (most of the time 😉 ), 64, have only a two year degree, and had to struggle during the years leading up to my “retirement”, however I’ve rarely been swayed from my “progressive” nature (and influences). I also have a friend from childhood who is very comfortable financially, has an engineering degree, a lovely wife and family, is intelligent, healthy (physically anyway) and from my POV has little to be angry about, and yet he is a raving tea partier with fundamentalist Christian influences (that I know did not come from his upbringing).

    So.. anecdotal exceptions yes, but there are plenty more I could list among other friends and family members. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the cause and effect can be hard to pin down, i.e. the limitations of stereotyping.

    • JSpencer February 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      P.S. I’m not suggesting the author of the article is stereotyping, only that the reasons people fall into the spheres of influence that take us backward can be complex.

  6. Sal Monela February 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    “Are these middle-aged white men going to take the jobs that will open up?” No they won’t, but not because they are doing drugs or guzzling beer. It’s just that many of these jobs require hard physical labor in very hot (or cold) weather. Frankly, a lot of Americans aren’t physically able to do this kind of work. The Trump supporters who resent immigrants don’t want these jobs for themselves they want someone else to do them because they believe that someone else is on the dole and this will get them off.
    That said, losing one’s job to outsourcing is a legitimate reason for being discouraged and angry. But the marketers of dissatisfaction (right wing talk radio) have convinced the people in this demographic that their job loss is the fault of the government and liberals instead of big businesses who want to cut costs by moving to places where labor (and a lot more) is cheaper.

    • Slamfu February 2, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      But the marketers of dissatisfaction (right wing talk radio) have convinced the people in this demographic that their job loss is the fault of the government and liberals instead of big businesses who want to cut costs by moving to places where labor (and a lot more) is cheaper.

      This is one of those issues the GOP has just lied about left and right to misinform the voters as to who is responsible. The govt has enabled corporations to outsource jobs. I mean, it’s going to happen when they can save money, but that doesn’t meant we need to make it easier for them, which is exactly what the GOP has done. They are the party behind the vast majority of corporate tax breaks for doing so, and also the ones stopping any laws the curb it. In 2012 the GOP shut down a bill that would have curbed outsourcing, and in 2014 they shot down the “Bring Home Jobs Act” which was estimated would bring several million jobs back to the USA. Even a fraction of that would have been nice.

      But ask your average voter who is most affected by this, people working in domestic manufacturing, and they likely will have no idea that the GOP is the one screwing them over while the Democrats are trying to help them. If people actually were aware who was doing what, and how it affected them and this country, the GOP would be out of business overnight.

      • SteveK February 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        10 points each to both Sal and Slamfu.

        Most the anger we are seeing today is the intentional by-product to the right wing media. Getting old is (if you’re so lucky :o|) just a part of life and shouldn’t be a (the?) cause of anger. Even if we didn’t do everything we wanted OR aren’t as important / in charge as we once were that’s no reason to get mad.

        Getting angry and lashing out at anything / everything that’s ‘not us’ isn’t normal… It’s a conditioned response. I’m curious as to what those creating it think they’ll get in return.

  7. ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Columnist February 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    The data on mortality rates of uneducated middle-aged white men, causes and stresses, comes from an analysis done by Princeton economists Angus Deaton (Nobel Prize) and Anne Case at the end of 2015. It was surprising that this demographic group alone had increased mortality. One can imagine the anger at that stage of life (and the depression) when nothing is going your way and the future looks bleak.

    • JSpencer February 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      That’s a recipe for misery alright, and they just add more when they vote against their own interests. Pretty sad business..

    • rudi February 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Here is a link to the study:
      Study
      The highest increase in mortality was in the South and Western areas. Prime regions for Trump and Teabaggers. US minorites and europeans haven’t seen this decline.

      The epidemic of pain which the opioids were designed to treat is real enough, although the data here cannot establish whether the increase in opioid use or the increase in pain came first. Both increased rapidly after the mid-1990s. Pain prevalence might have been even higher without the drugs, although long-term opioid use may exacerbate pain for some (26), and consensus on the effectiveness and risks of long-term opioid use has been
      hampered by lack of research evidence (27). Pain is also a risk
      factor for suicide (28). Increased alcohol abuse and suicides are
      likely symptoms of the same underlying epidemic (18, 19, 29),
      and have increased alongside it, both temporally and spatially.
      Although the epidemic of pain, suicide, and drug overdoses
      preceded the financial crisis, ties to economic insecurity are possi-
      ble. After the productivity slowdown in the early 1970s, and with
      widening income inequality, many of the baby-boom generation are
      the first to find, in midlife, that they will not be better off than were
      their parents. Growth in real median earnings has been slow for this
      group, especially those with only a high school education. However,
      the productivity slowdown is common to many rich countries, some
      of which have seen even slower growth in median earnings than the
      United States, yet none have had the same mortality experience

      (lanekenworthy.net/shared-prosperityand ref. 30). The United States
      has moved primarily to defined-contribution pension plans with
      associated stock market risk, whereas, in Europe, defined-benefit
      pensions are still the norm. Future financial insecurity may weigh
      more heavily on US workers, if they perceive stock market risk
      harder to manage than earnings risk, or if they have contributed
      inadequately to defined-contribution plans (31).

      • rudi February 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        When will a decent EDIT function return to comments. The BQ above is a mess…

        • SteveK February 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          We’ve all asked this many times but the question doesn’t seem to rate an answer… Go faigure.

          Edit to add: ‘figure’ NOT ‘faigure’!

          • rudi February 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm

            Seems the latest upgrade to WordPress really si=sucks. BJ did a site upgrade and they’re having similar issues,

        • Bob Munck
          Bob Munck February 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

          I’ve written several comment support packages starting in 1997. These days I would save myself a huge amount of effort and pain through software reuse; … I would use DISQUS. Sure, it has some shortcomings, but the advantage of having it already written and tested is HUGE. I’m unhappy that on TMV I will never get back one of the main features for me of DISQUS — a single place to find all of my comments and all responses to them across many blogs and blog entries.

          • JSpencer February 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

            “a single place to find all of my comments and all responses to them across many blogs and blog entries”

            For my own part, that was a convenient way to check and see if I needed to respond to anyone. In it’s absence I’ve probably missed a few, but it wasn’t intentional.

          • Brownies girl February 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

            BM writes: “I would use DISQUS. Sure, it has some shortcomings, but the advantage of having it already written and tested is HUGE.”

            As much as I liked the setup when I first saw it, I miss being notified of responses – have probably missed a few. So I’d like to second BM’s vote on this. DISQUS served me better, a whole lot.

  8. Lorie Emerson February 2, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I am more curious about underlying causes. Is it women’s liberation/ misogyny? Men losing what they saw as their defined role? My experience has been that European men often have a much different perspective on the sexes than American men.

    • Lorie Emerson February 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Or, is there an environmental factor? Diet?

      • JSpencer February 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm

        Maybe the Ghost Dancing of native Americans worked after all, just with a delayed effect.

  9. RON BEASLEY, Assistant Editor February 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    I can understand that middle aged and older white men are angry but the world is changing. The loss of their jobs may be in part to those jobs being outsourced to Asia but the major reason is automation and industrial robots. I don’t really know what Trump can do about that.

    • Bob Munck
      Bob Munck February 2, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      the major reason is automation and industrial robots.

      Ron, do you have any statistics on that? I ask out of simple curiosity; I did a lot of robotics work in the mid-80s, for Cincinnati Milacron, Kongsberg Vapenfabrik, and Toshiba. Back then the potential was obvious, but there were very few of them out there in actual production use (but see below). I really have no idea where and how much robots have moved into real factories.

      At Toshiba we automated an existing hot strip steel mill. The result was one guy sitting in a booth with a huge array of displays and gauges and a single big red STOP button. That was it; one guy with one button to push; the plant had formerly required THREE people to operate. Note that was all automation, no robots. I suppose now there could be a robot sitting in that booth.

  10. sparrow February 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I wonder if it can be reduced to a base variable?

    The inability to change… changes birthed in the 60’s began the progressive loss of power and prestige for this group based simply on their sex and race… Recently read an study which said ‘authoritarian’ scale is elevated in Trump voters… They are angry because their power has been diminished by societal transformation… white male privileged and prestige will never be recovered to the degree it was prior to the 1950’s… That snake has shed it’s skin and never will it go back to the ‘good ole days’…

    They are deeply grieving and fearful but have little inner resource to touch those vulnerabilities. The absolute resolve to not compromise and anger are contracted physical, emotional, intellectual states. Lower mortality rates seem very consistent with what occurs when a group anywhere refuses to adapt to the inevitability of change…

    • sparrow February 2, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      clarification…. ” changes birthed in the 60’s began the progressive loss of power and prestige for this group based simply on their sex and race…” — don’t like how that reads, white males had the power and they lost it, so they can really get juicy with the word, “loser’… for that is when they began to lose power, and it has been progressive….the ones that did not pursue education likely are less adaptable to change?

      • KP February 2, 2016 at 10:45 pm

        sparrow, _great_ insight, as always.

        I think your observations support the view that making fun of or ridiculing these unhappy, aging, white men is about as helpful as making fun of any human being that is acting out inappropriately. Not helpful at all.

        If we want people to hear what we have to say (perhaps create change?) they need to feel as though the messenger understands who they are, what they believe, and what has brought them to where they are today.

        Everyday there are opportunities to be kind and create a habit of goodness. True in politics as well.

      • Lorie Emerson February 3, 2016 at 9:38 am

        i think you might have nailed it sparrow. A decline in organized religion at the same time, probably also contributes (and explains the evangelical movement). To be fair, the rate of change in our society has been very rapid. It’s not just gender roles, but technology.

  11. DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist February 3, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Tyrone will this weekend be looking into the several issues we have in comments, including not being able to nest the comments, not edit them [you can, but you have to go to your sign in: not acceptible.] Please stand by. It has been a major overhaul of the site, as you know, with literally hundreds of tiny parts needed upgrading and changing. We are dancing as fast as we can!! Ad always nice to see you all here. Thanks.
    dr.e

    • dduck February 3, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Menny tanks, dr.e.

    • JSpencer February 3, 2016 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Dr. E.

  12. Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist February 3, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Now here is a really “I needed to know that” statistic on those Trump supporters, “losers, angry white men who life has passed by and are dying off earlier than would be expected” and I hope everyone sees the smiley at the end and lightens up just a little bit:

    Trump’s supporters 11 times more likely than Clinton’s to expect sex on the first date.

    Read more on this startling revelation here :)

  13. Bruce Johnson February 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    There are plenty of jobs anyway going begging in the high-tech industries

    Yes. That’s why Disney IT workers were made to train their lower-paid H1B replacements before being laid off, because of the great demand in the ‘high tech industries’ for educated workers. That’s why manufacturers in Chicago were claiming they couldn’t find experienced machinists and lathe operators to hire…but were only willing to pay them $10 an hour.

    There’s only a demand for more work for lower pay and more H1B indentured workers.

    • Bob Munck
      Bob Munck February 3, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      There’s only a demand for more work for lower pay

      High-tech has always had problems with management attempts to de-skill the work. We ran into this in the Ada effort (the development of a common programming language for DoD use). Ada was developed as a language for software engineers to write code in; it is a wonderful language for that. However, software engineers are expensive: a new graduate with a bachelors from a good CS program will start at $120K at Google or Apple. The big defense contractors didn’t want to pay that kind of money to their hordes of programmers, so they put immense pressure on the DoD to accept code in C++ and Java, simpler languages used by cheaper, less capable coders. It worked; we lost. And DoD software is getting worse and contractor profits are getting better.

    • dduck February 3, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Hmmmm. Links?